Today, on the first Sunday of Great Lent, we celebrate the triumph of Orthodoxy. Lent, and this Sunday in particular, is a time for pan-orthodox celebrations. In the heartland of America three of the most recognizable bishops from the three largest jurisdictions made a statement; we are the unified and real Body of Christ. Archbishop DMITRI hosted Metropolitan ISAIAH and Bishop BASIL at his Dallas Cathedral. Kelly and I were both amazed at how wonderful and meaningful the con-celebration was.
His Grace BASIL gave the homily. It doesn’t take much to see that the cheerful Bishop has a humble heart that loves everyone, yet his homily centered around the cost that we must pay to defend Truth. “A Truth that is not a theology, not a philosophy, not an opinion. A Truth that is the person of Jesus Christ, God and Man.” Purely and ferociously he spoke against the great American heresy, that on the surface is ecclesialogical, but at root Christological. “We know where the Church is,” he said, “it is what is being fed and enlivened by the blood of Christ; just as my body is being enlivened by the blood the beats from my heart. We may not know where the Spirit blows, but the Church is circumscribed.” The truth of the incarnate Christ is not dissociated from the truth of His mystical Body, the Church. And truth is something that we must defend, even to the point of being sawn asunder (as the epistle reading from Hebrews reminds us). A Roman Catholic convert told me that he had spent a decade in a pew not far from here waiting to hear such a sermon.
After we were enlivened by Christ through the Eucharist, I was able to get Bishop BASIL’s blessing and tell him I was the nephew of one of his dear priests. When he heard this he gave me a kiss and a monstrous hug, and we chatted for a while. The long and short of it is that Kelly and I have now re-committed to making a trip up to Wichita.
The parish hall was filled with food (plain though it was), conversation, and abundant joy!